Top 5 KPI’s to track in your game

I’ve been getting questions regarding what are the top KPI’s i track when looking at a game so i decided to write this post.  This may be obvious to a lot of game designers since this has become the norm of game designing for mobile the last couple of years.  Below are the top 5 KPI’s that are a necessity during the release phase. (In order of importance).  One you stabilize your game, there is another set of KPI’s i track (which would be on another post)

[5]  PLAYER LEVEL DISTRIBUTION (DAU LEVEL)

  • This graph will display how players are burning through your content and also, where the choke points are in your game, where they fall off your game.  Managing your burn rate is extremely important as a designer since your development team can only turn as much content on a monthly basis, or based on your update schedule.  This being said, making sure your game cycle are effective enough that the users are willing to perform the grind for the reward is appeasing enough to see them level through the game.  Also, depending on how many game cycles you have would depend on whether you can effectively transition them will be evident with this data.playerdist
  • You can view this bar chart in 2 ways:
    • Total registered users Player Level:  Remove the all the players before tutorial completion. (Whatever level you finish the tutorial)  since you will be experiencing such a big drop off from here that, it would your chart unreadable.
    • Player Level DAU:  looking at a DAU Player level distribution will help you understand where your active players are progressing through the game.

[4] 14 DAY RETENTION

14 day retention is your ben
chmark to see how many mid core gamers you have attracted to your game. This is usually the barometer to see If your game design is actually accepted by the mid core mobile gamers in the current market.  I mean “current” because you can see noticeable shifts in gaming patterns every 3 months.  The
higher the retention here, illustrates that your secondary game cycle is being played. (I will discussed this more on a separate post)

[3] 7 DAY RETENTION

  • 7 Day Retention
    , is more targeted towards your light core players. Making sure you have enough content for them to play for about a week and carry on to the next game.
  • Your game design will dependent on whether the user understood your core game cycle, and is curious enough to continue playing and taking part in the secondary game cycle.

[2]  1 Day Retention

First day retention is something you can also consider as Tutorial Completion. You can take them as one and the same as the higher your tutorial completion is, the higher your first day retention.  What this means is that you need to tailor the game experience around your tutorial.  Meaning the first 5-10 minutes, a game designer is required to filter in all the cool game mechanics and features that’s been thought out and educate them about in this time frame.  At this point users can decided, whether they want to continue playing this game or move on to the next.

[1] FTL (First Time Login)

As the quality of the game increase and the users demanding higher and more depth in game design, the package size of your game gets bigger and bigger. What gets overlooked is the difference between 100 mb game and a game that’s > 100 mb.

Games that are greater, see a lower chance of a users playing the game, since they have to download another set of assets when they open up the game.  This leaves players disappointed and also gives them another choice whether they want to download the package or move on to the next.  Depending on the geography of the user, some countries tend to not even download the game since it will take up too much of their bandwidth.

At this stage in technology, the best way to maximize FTL is to create a application that is either less than 100 mb or find away to stream line the secondary asset package, and let the user play the game as quick as he can.  Ideally, you want to user playing the game 5 – 10 secs from opening up the app or you’ll start to see your FTL numbers decrease as the seconds tick.

(note:  this only applies to freemium game, since the psychology of Premium games would be different )

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  • 15+ year mobile application industry veteran, probably product managing multiple apps. If he's not busy running this website, you can probably find him at the gym shooting half court shots, while playing the latest mobile rpg game.

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